My eldest daughter thinks I’m the worst mum. In fact, she went as far as telling me the other day that all her friends tell her that they would hate to have me as their mum!
I can hear you asking yourself ‘What has she done that is so horrible?’ Well the answer to that question is simple. I have told my daughter that she is not allowed to travel in a car with a friend who has just got their driver’s license, until they have three months experience of driving without the assistance of their parent to intervene or advise when they are driving. They also need to learn to cope with the distraction of loud music, friends goofing around and the urge to show off!
As I told my daughter, ‘I have made this rule to protect you and your friends. I love you and want to keep you safe. After three months, your friends will have more confidence, have some experience with driving by themselves and will be less inclined to show off their new skills as the initial excitement of driving alone will have worn off!’
Heaven knows it would make my life easier to not have to play Mum’s taxi for her all the time, however statistics in Australia show that one quarter of all fatalities and hospitalisations from car accidents are drivers under 25, even though they only make up 15% of license holders!
Unfortunately at this age kids think they are invincible! I already know of two 17 year old girls that have recently had accidents requiring hospitialisation not long after they got their license, which hardens my resolve on this matter.
I know that in a few months time this won’t be an issue because her closest friends will have passed the allotted time restriction, but until then I have to accept that she and her friends don’t like me. I’m okay with that because keeping her and her friends safe is more important to me than a popularity contest. Being a mother sometimes means showing them you love them by saying no!
What are your thoughts? Do you think I’m being over-protective or do you think this is a good rule?
(Image by digitalart, freedigitalphotos.net)